Social control and support have effects on smoking cessation, but are mostly examined separately.
Interacting effects of social control and support are investigated, hypothesizing synergistic effects.
In 99 smokers, received social control and emotional support (both smoking specific) were assessed 2 weeks before a quit date (T1); objectively verified abstinence and self-reported numbers of cigarettes smoked daily were assessed 6 weeks after baseline (T2).
For both outcomes, associations with control (T1) were moderated by support (T1), but beneficial synergistic effects (high control/high support) emerged for few participants only. Effects were mainly driven by constellations of low control/high support associated with more cigarettes smoked daily (T2) and low control/low support linked to higher likelihood of abstinence (T2).
Different constellations of levels of control and support may be beneficial for quitting smoking. Whereas synergies of high domain-specific control and support may be beneficial, they only rarely occur.
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As this study was part of a larger longitudinal study, parts of the data analyzed in this paper were also used in a paper by Ochsner et al.  about the interplay of social support and individual self-regulation variables. Although there is some overlap in the variables used, the present paper investigates a unique research question and displays results not yet covered by previous publications from the larger project.
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This study was funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (100014_124516). The fourth author’s contribution was supported by a grant from the National Science Centre (NN 106 012240). We would like to thank all students who helped with data collection.
Author’s Statement of Conflict of Interest and Adherence to Ethical Standards
Sibylle Ochsner, Nina Knoll, Gertraud Stadler, Aleksandra Luszczynska, Rainer Hornung, and Urte Scholz have no conflict of interest to disclose.
All procedures, including the informed consent process, were conducted in accordance with the ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (institutional and national) and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, as revised in 2000.’
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Ochsner, S., Knoll, N., Stadler, G. et al. Interacting Effects of Receiving Social Control and Social Support During Smoking Cessation. ann. behav. med. 49, 141–146 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12160-014-9635-6
- Social control
- Social support
- Smoking cessation
- Health-behavior change